Amy Maertens and Jo Schroepfer
By Gayle VanVooren, Mascot Editor
Jo Schroepfer and Amy Maertens are, literally, ready to hit the trail — the walking trail, that is.
These Ghent women are walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure August 20-22 in Minneapolis.
The ladies have been walking daily to get in shape, for the team will be putting in days of 20 miles on this trek that raises money to fight breast cancer.
“I’ve been walking every day as much as I can,” said Schroepfer, who runs a day-care in her home. “The most I’ve done is 10 miles in a day, so I know it will be a little tough that last day.”
Maertens added, “We’ve been walking a lot. I think we will be able to keep each other going.”
The walk begins in Eden Prairie and then finishes at the State Capitol with a celebration of all those taking part.
Volunteers will be on hand to feed them, and move the two-person tents where they will be spending their nights. But the women are looking forward to it all.
“I know it will be amazing to cross the finish line,” added Schroepfer.
Each of the walkers raised $2,300 just to be able to be involved in the walk. “I’ve actually doubled mine,” said Schroepfer.
She added, “I sent out a letter in February and by the end of March I had raised the money.” She added to the funds by making carmel popcorn, selling some $900 of that for extra funds.
“Everyone has been so supportive,” she added. She and Maertens were just talking about maybe doing this one day, and suddenly they gave it some serious thought and “everything escalated from there,” added Maertens.
Maertens said that she still has some money to raise. “I’m still working on raising money, and have until a month after the walk to get it all in.”
Schroepfer is walking for her mom, Bernie Knott of Wabasso. “My Mom just had her five-year checkup and she’s cancer free,” she said. “I walk for her, and for all the others who are fighting cancer.”
She added, “I just know it’s going to be a very powerful and inspiring experience. The way I look at it, if a woman can go through breast cancer and survive, I think I can walk 20 miles a day.”
Maertens is walking for a good friend who lost the battle with cancer. She was her day care provider in California “and she never gave up hope,” said Maertens. “So I walk in her memory.”
“I’m really excited,” added Maertens, who works at U.S. Bank in Marshall. “I think it will be a cool experience and one we will always remember.”
“I just know it will be an awesome experience,” added Schroepfer. And the ‘dynamic duo’ turned away and started on their walk of the day down the streets of Ghent.